The suspect may have been performing a robbery.
Suspect Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, Ga., was captured after a manhunt on Tuesday. The suspect was pursued after allegedly murdering eight people, shooting them to death. He targeted people at three massage parlors in the Atlanta area. Seven of the slain were women, and six of them were of Asian descent while two were white. Authorities are investigating whether the killings were part of a robbery in progress.
The first shooting took place at Young’s Asian Massage near Acworth, a northwest suburb of Atlanta. Four people were killed there before the suspect moved on. At 5:47 PM, the Atlanta police claim that officers responded to a robbery at Gold Spa in the same area. It was there they found the bodies of three women with gunshot wounds. Soon after, the police on the scene were called to respond to shots fired at the Aromatherapy Spa across the street. There they found another victim.
Although the suspect in custody is white, police have not confirmed any racial motivation for the shootings. Still, Stop AAPI Hate, created to stop anti-Asian discrimination during the pandemic, called the shootings “an unspeakable tragedy” for both the victims’ families and an Asian-American community that has “been reeling from high levels of racist attacks.”